[ACCEPTED]-How can I download all emails with attachments from Gmail?-gmail

Accepted answer
Score: 154

Hard one :-)

import email, getpass, imaplib, os

detach_dir = '.' # directory where to save attachments (default: current)
user = raw_input("Enter your GMail username:")
pwd = getpass.getpass("Enter your password: ")

# connecting to the gmail imap server
m = imaplib.IMAP4_SSL("imap.gmail.com")
m.select("[Gmail]/All Mail") # here you a can choose a mail box like INBOX instead
# use m.list() to get all the mailboxes

resp, items = m.search(None, "ALL") # you could filter using the IMAP rules here (check http://www.example-code.com/csharp/imap-search-critera.asp)
items = items[0].split() # getting the mails id

for emailid in items:
    resp, data = m.fetch(emailid, "(RFC822)") # fetching the mail, "`(RFC822)`" means "get the whole stuff", but you can ask for headers only, etc
    email_body = data[0][1] # getting the mail content
    mail = email.message_from_string(email_body) # parsing the mail content to get a mail object

    #Check if any attachments at all
    if mail.get_content_maintype() != 'multipart':

    print "["+mail["From"]+"] :" + mail["Subject"]

    # we use walk to create a generator so we can iterate on the parts and forget about the recursive headach
    for part in mail.walk():
        # multipart are just containers, so we skip them
        if part.get_content_maintype() == 'multipart':

        # is this part an attachment ?
        if part.get('Content-Disposition') is None:

        filename = part.get_filename()
        counter = 1

        # if there is no filename, we create one with a counter to avoid duplicates
        if not filename:
            filename = 'part-%03d%s' % (counter, 'bin')
            counter += 1

        att_path = os.path.join(detach_dir, filename)

        #Check if its already there
        if not os.path.isfile(att_path) :
            # finally write the stuff
            fp = open(att_path, 'wb')

Wowww! That was something. ;-) But 8 try the same in Java, just for fun!

By the 7 way, I tested that in a shell, so some errors 6 likely remain.



Because mail-box names 5 can change from one country to another, I 4 recommend doing m.list() and picking an item in 3 it before m.select("the mailbox name") to avoid this error:

imaplib.error: command 2 SEARCH illegal in state AUTH, only allowed 1 in states SELECTED

Score: 9

I'm not an expert on Perl, but what I do 4 know is that GMail supports IMAP and POP3, 2 3 protocols that are completely standard and 2 allow you to do just that.

Maybe that helps 1 you to get started.

Score: 8
#!/usr/bin/env python
"""Save all attachments for given gmail account."""
import os, sys
from libgmail import GmailAccount

ga = GmailAccount("your.account@gmail.com", "pA$$w0Rd_")

# folders: inbox, starred, all, drafts, sent, spam
for thread in ga.getMessagesByFolder('all', allPages=True):
    for msg in thread:
        if msg.attachments:
           print "\n", msg.id, msg.number, msg.subject, msg.sender
           for att in msg.attachments:
               if att.filename and att.content:
                  attdir = os.path.join(thread.id, msg.id)
                  if not os.path.isdir(attdir):
                  with open(os.path.join(attdir, att.filename), 'wb') as f:


  1. Make sure TOS allows such scripts otherwise you account will be suspended
  2. There might be better options: GMail offline mode, Thunderbird + ExtractExtensions, GmailFS, Gmail Drive, etc.


Score: 7

Take a look at Mail::Webmail::Gmail:


There are two ways to get 5 an attachment:

1 -> By sending a reference 4 to a specific attachment returned by get_indv_email

# Creates an array of references to every attachment in your account
my $messages = $gmail->get_messages();
my @attachments;

foreach ( @{ $messages } ) {
    my $email = $gmail->get_indv_email( msg => $_ );
    if ( defined( $email->{ $_->{ 'id' } }->{ 'attachments' } ) ) {
        foreach ( @{ $email->{ $_->{ 'id' } }->{ 'attachments' } } ) {
            push( @attachments, $gmail->get_attachment( attachment => $_ ) );
            if ( $gmail->error() ) {
                print $gmail->error_msg();

2 -> Or 3 by sending the attachment ID and message 2 ID

#retrieve specific attachment
my $msgid = 'F000000000';
my $attachid = '0.1';
my $attach_ref = $gmail->get_attachment( attid => $attachid, msgid => $msgid );

( Returns a reference to a scalar that 1 holds the data from the attachment. )

Score: 4

Within gmail, you can filter on "has:attachment", use 14 it to identify the messages you should be 13 getting when testing. Note this appears 12 to give both messages with attached files 11 (paperclip icon shown), as well as inline 10 attached images (no paperclip shown).

There 9 is no Gmail API, so IMAP or POP are your 8 only real options. The JavaMail API may be of some assistance 7 as well as this very terse article on downloading attachments from IMAP using Perl. Some 6 previous questions here on SO may also help.

This PHP example may help 5 too. Unfortunately from what I can see, there 4 is no attachment information contained within 3 the imap_header, so downloading the body 2 is required to be able to see the X-Attachment-Id 1 field. (someone please prove me wrong).

Score: 4

The question is quite old and at that time 3 Gmail API was not available. But now Google 2 provides Gmail API to access IMAP. See 1 Google's Gmail API here. Also see google-api-python-client on pypi.

Score: 3

If any of you have updated to python 3.3 3 I took the 2.7 script from HERE and updated 2 it to 3.3. Also fixed some issues with 1 the way gmail was returning the information.

# Something in lines of http://stackoverflow.com/questions/348630/how-can-i-download-all-emails-with-attachments-from-gmail
# Make sure you have IMAP enabled in your gmail settings.
# Right now it won't download same file name twice even if their contents are different.
# Gmail as of now returns in bytes but just in case they go back to string this line is left here.

import email
import getpass, imaplib
import os
import sys
import time

detach_dir = '.'
if 'attachments' not in os.listdir(detach_dir):

userName = input('Enter your GMail username:\n')
passwd = getpass.getpass('Enter your password:\n')

    imapSession = imaplib.IMAP4_SSL('imap.gmail.com',993)
    typ, accountDetails = imapSession.login(userName, passwd)
    if typ != 'OK':
        print ('Not able to sign in!')

    typ, data = imapSession.search(None, 'ALL')
    if typ != 'OK':
        print ('Error searching Inbox.')

    # Iterating over all emails
    for msgId in data[0].split():
        typ, messageParts = imapSession.fetch(msgId, '(RFC822)')

        if typ != 'OK':
            print ('Error fetching mail.')

        emailBody = messageParts[0][1]
        #mail = email.message_from_string(emailBody)
        mail = email.message_from_bytes(emailBody)

        for part in mail.walk():
            #print (part)
            if part.get_content_maintype() == 'multipart':
                # print part.as_string()
            if part.get('Content-Disposition') is None:
                # print part.as_string()

            fileName = part.get_filename()

            if bool(fileName):
                filePath = os.path.join(detach_dir, 'attachments', fileName)
                if not os.path.isfile(filePath) :
                    print (fileName)
                    fp = open(filePath, 'wb')


except :
    print ('Not able to download all attachments.')
Score: 1

Since Gmail supports the standard protocols 10 POP and IMAP, any platform, tool, application, component, or 9 API that provides the client side of either 8 protocol should work.

I suggest doing a Google 7 search for your favorite language/platform 6 (e.g., "python"), plus "pop", plus "imap", plus 5 perhaps "open source", plus perhaps "download" or 4 "review", and see what you get for options.

There 3 are numerous free applications and components, pick 2 a few that seem worthy, check for reviews, then 1 download and enjoy.

Score: 1

You should be aware of the fact that you 4 need SSL to connect to GMail (both for POP3 3 and IMAP - this is of course true also for 2 their SMTP-servers apart from port 25 but 1 that's another story).

Score: 1

Here's something I wrote to download my 2 bank statements in Groovy (dynamic language for 1 the Java Platform).

import javax.mail.*
import java.util.Properties

String  gmailServer
int gmailPort
def user, password, LIMIT
def inboxFolder, root, StartDate, EndDate

//    Downloads all attachments from a gmail mail box as per some criteria
//    to a specific folder
//    Based on code from
//    http://agileice.blogspot.com/2008/10/using-groovy-to-connect-to-gmail.html
//    http://stackoverflow.com/questions/155504/download-mail-attachment-with-java
//    Requires: 
//        java mail jars in the class path (mail.jar and activation.jar)
//        openssl, with gmail certificate added to java keystore (see agileice blog)
//    further improvement: maybe findAll could be used to filter messages
//    subject could be added as another criteria
////////////////////// <CONFIGURATION> //////////////////////
// Maximm number of emails to access in case parameter range is too high
LIMIT = 10000

// gmail credentials
gmailServer = "imap.gmail.com"
gmailPort = 993

user = "gmailuser@gmail.com"
password = "gmailpassword"

// gmail label, or "INBOX" for inbox
inboxFolder = "finance"

// local file system where the attachment files need to be stored
root = "D:\\AttachmentStore" 

// date range dd-mm-yyyy
StartDate= "31-12-2009"
EndDate = "1-6-2010" 
////////////////////// </CONFIGURATION> //////////////////////

StartDate = Date.parse("dd-MM-yyyy", StartDate)
EndDate = Date.parse("dd-MM-yyyy", EndDate)

Properties props = new Properties();
props.setProperty("mail.store.protocol", "imaps");
props.setProperty("mail.imaps.host", gmailServer);
props.setProperty("mail.imaps.port", gmailPort.toString());
props.setProperty("mail.imaps.partialfetch", "false");

def session = javax.mail.Session.getDefaultInstance(props,null)
def store = session.getStore("imaps")

store.connect(gmailServer, user, password)

int i = 0;
def folder = store.getFolder(inboxFolder)


for(def msg : folder.messages) {

     //if (msg.subject?.contains("bank Statement"))
     println "[$i] From: ${msg.from} Subject: ${msg.subject} -- Received: ${msg.receivedDate}"

     if (msg.receivedDate <  StartDate || msg.receivedDate > EndDate) {
         println "Ignoring due to date range"

     if (msg.content instanceof Multipart) {
         Multipart mp = (Multipart)msg.content;

         for (int j=0; j < mp.count; j++) {

             Part part = mp.getBodyPart(j);

             println " ---- ${part.fileName} ---- ${part.disposition}"

             if (part.disposition?.equalsIgnoreCase(Part.ATTACHMENT)) {

                 if (part.content) {

                     def name = msg.receivedDate.format("yyyy_MM_dd") + " " + part.fileName
                     println "Saving file to $name"

                     def f = new File(root, name)

                     //f << part.content
                     try {
                         if (!f.exists())
                             f << part.content
                     catch (Exception e) {
                         println "*** Error *** $e" 
                 else {
                    println "NO Content Found!!"

     if (i++ > LIMIT)

Score: 1
/*based on http://www.codejava.net/java-ee/javamail/using-javamail-for-searching-e-mail-messages*/
package getMailsWithAtt;

import java.io.File;
import java.io.IOException;
import java.text.ParseException;
import java.text.SimpleDateFormat;
import java.util.Date;
import java.util.Properties;

import javax.mail.Address;
import javax.mail.Folder;
import javax.mail.Message;
import javax.mail.MessagingException;
import javax.mail.Multipart;
import javax.mail.NoSuchProviderException;
import javax.mail.Part;
import javax.mail.Session;
import javax.mail.Store;
import javax.mail.internet.MimeBodyPart;
import javax.mail.search.AndTerm;
import javax.mail.search.SearchTerm;
import javax.mail.search.ReceivedDateTerm;
import javax.mail.search.ComparisonTerm;

public class EmailReader {
    private String saveDirectory;

     * Sets the directory where attached files will be stored.
     * @param dir
     *            absolute path of the directory
    public void setSaveDirectory(String dir) {
        this.saveDirectory = dir;

     * Downloads new messages and saves attachments to disk if any.
     * @param host
     * @param port
     * @param userName
     * @param password
     * @throws IOException
    public void downloadEmailAttachments(String host, String port,
            String userName, String password, Date startDate, Date endDate) {
        Properties props = System.getProperties();
        props.setProperty("mail.store.protocol", "imaps");
        try {
            Session session = Session.getDefaultInstance(props, null);
            Store store = session.getStore("imaps");
            store.connect("imap.gmail.com", userName, password);
            // ...
            Folder inbox = store.getFolder("INBOX");
            SearchTerm olderThan = new ReceivedDateTerm (ComparisonTerm.LT, startDate);
            SearchTerm newerThan = new ReceivedDateTerm (ComparisonTerm.GT, endDate);
            SearchTerm andTerm = new AndTerm(olderThan, newerThan);
            //Message[] arrayMessages = inbox.getMessages(); <--get all messages
            Message[] arrayMessages = inbox.search(andTerm);
            for (int i = arrayMessages.length; i > 0; i--) { //from newer to older
                Message msg = arrayMessages[i-1];
                Address[] fromAddress = msg.getFrom();
                String from = fromAddress[0].toString();
                String subject = msg.getSubject();
                String sentDate = msg.getSentDate().toString();
                String receivedDate = msg.getReceivedDate().toString();

                String contentType = msg.getContentType();
                String messageContent = "";

                // store attachment file name, separated by comma
                String attachFiles = "";

                if (contentType.contains("multipart")) {
                    // content may contain attachments
                    Multipart multiPart = (Multipart) msg.getContent();
                    int numberOfParts = multiPart.getCount();
                    for (int partCount = 0; partCount < numberOfParts; partCount++) {
                        MimeBodyPart part = (MimeBodyPart) multiPart
                        if (Part.ATTACHMENT.equalsIgnoreCase(part
                                .getDisposition())) {
                            // this part is attachment
                            String fileName = part.getFileName();
                            attachFiles += fileName + ", ";
                            part.saveFile(saveDirectory + File.separator + fileName);
                        } else {
                            // this part may be the message content
                            messageContent = part.getContent().toString();
                    if (attachFiles.length() > 1) {
                        attachFiles = attachFiles.substring(0,
                                attachFiles.length() - 2);
                } else if (contentType.contains("text/plain")
                        || contentType.contains("text/html")) {
                    Object content = msg.getContent();
                    if (content != null) {
                        messageContent = content.toString();

                // print out details of each message
                System.out.println("Message #" + (i + 1) + ":");
                System.out.println("\t From: " + from);
                System.out.println("\t Subject: " + subject);
                System.out.println("\t Received: " + sentDate);
                System.out.println("\t Message: " + messageContent);
                System.out.println("\t Attachments: " + attachFiles);

            // disconnect

        } catch (NoSuchProviderException e) {
        } catch (MessagingException e) {
        } catch (IOException ex) {

     * Runs this program with Gmail POP3 server
     * @throws ParseException 
    public static void main(String[] args) throws ParseException {
        String host = "pop.gmail.com";
        String port = "995";
        String userName = "user@gmail.com";
        String password = "pass";
        Date startDate = new SimpleDateFormat("yyyy-MM-dd").parse("2014-06-30");
        Date endDate = new SimpleDateFormat("yyyy-MM-dd").parse("2014-06-01");
        String saveDirectory = "C:\\Temp";

        EmailReader receiver = new EmailReader();
        receiver.downloadEmailAttachments(host, port, userName, password,startDate,endDate);


Maven Dependency:



Score: 0

Have you taken a look at the GMail 3rd party add-ons at wikipedia?

In 3 particular, PhpGmailDrive is an open source add-on that 2 you may be able to use as-is, or perhaps 1 study for inspiration?

Score: 0

For Java, you will find G4J of use. It's a 4 set of APIs to communicate with Google Mail 3 via Java (the screenshot on the homepage 2 is a demonstration email client built around 1 this)

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